An exclusive first look at Alea Nightclub: Ottawa's first intimate VIP club experience

Alea Nightclub, nestled right in the middle of the Casino Lac Leamy, is the result of the Casino's ambitious $47 million overall renovation. With the grand opening of Alea happening tomorrow night, EDM Canada had the opportunity to get an exclusive first look of the club that will be sure to change the clubbing scene in the Nation's Capital forever.

The whole look and feel of the club is very exclusive. Once you're inside the doors, you no longer get a sense that you're in the middle of a casino but rather you feel as if you are being led into a luxurious new space. You can no longer hear the casino inside of Alea as they surrounded the club with a special noise reduction material to ensure that there is no sound bleed. One can tell that the casino spared no expense at creating the Alea Nightclub. 

The first thing that strikes you is how intimate it feels once you're inside. This is unlike any other club I've ever been to as the dancefloor is so intimately close to the DJ booth that there isn't a bad spot in the club. The VIP tables are located all along the DJ booth and at two locations on the 2nd floor. But there are two 3 person booths in particular that caught my attention. They sit at either side of the DJ booth and they are so close to the action that you are literally right next to the DJ. It's unlike anything I've ever seen anywhere and it is the best spot in the club besides the dancefloor of course.

The official capacity of Alea Nightclub is only 219 people, so the feeling of exclusivity is clearly evident. The sound system is for real as they packed a 20,000 watt RMS system provided by Meyer Sound that sounds pristine. Ottawa has been in desperate need of a club with a solid sound system for years and the Alea Nightclub has just filled that gap. 

Right now the plan for Alea Nightclub is to be open only two nights a week (Friday and Saturday), with one night catering to the hip-hop/Top 40 called Fusion, and the other featuring electronic dance music called Dynamik. Alea Nightclub is actively consulting with Playground Productions for the launch. Playground is no stranger to the scene as they are the organizers of the famous Bal en Blanc event, as well as co-owners of the highly regarded New City Gas in Montreal. 

Here are some of the snaps I took of Alea Nightclub, enjoy:

(Click on any photo to enlarge)

Here are two pictures of the DJ booth and the dancefloor that shows how intimate the entire club is. I counted how many steps it was from the back of the dancefloor to the front of the DJ booth and it was only 6 steps. I cannot emphasize enough how close you'll feel to the DJ and the rest of the club once you're inside: 

Note: these two pictures above were taken from the 14 person "lodge" VIP table located upstairs.

Here's a look at the DJ booth with the wall of VIP tables: 


Here's a vantage point of the club from the perspective of one of the VIP tables. The DJ booth is on the left while the dancefloor is on the right, while you get a clear look at the nice glass bar. Upstairs you can see a VIP "lodge" area:

Here is Alea's massive 13 metre LED wall. It sits on the opposite side of the DJ booth: 

Inside the DJ booth: 

Here's is one of the two 3 person VIP tables that sits literally right beside the DJ booth. If I was looking to book a VIP table, this is the one that I'd get: 

A look at the bathroom, the mirror is fitted with a see through TV screen: 

The top of the nightclub is laden with this cool fabric: 

Alea Nightclub has decided to kick off things in a big way by booking two legendary DJs to help open up this impressive space. Their grand opening is tomorrow and they're bringing the legendary Erick Morillo into town to start the celebration.

On Saturday, November 15th, they have booked Bob Sinclar, the father of the French Touch sound. These are huge events for Ottawa, and I highly recommend that you grab your tickets asap to check out this brand new club in the Nation's Capital:

(Click on each poster below for more ticket information)

Stay tuned tomorrow as I post EDM Canada's interview with Alain Miroux, the general manager of Alea Nightclub. 

A chat with Tritonal (Interview)

The duo known as Tritonal will be making their way back to Calgary this weekend to join Laidback Luke, tyDi, Tujamo, and more at the BMO Centre this Friday (Halloween) for Cemetery of Sound. The guys have been busy with the release of their Metamorphic III EP release, a recent massive hit with Paris Blohm called "Colors", and a brand new album on the way. I managed to talk to them while they were working on new tracks in their studio and we managed to cover a lot of ground, enjoy: 

1. Who are Tritonal?

Tritonal (Dave and Chad): First off, the definition of “Triton” is a diminished fifth step on a piano and Tritonal also relates to an explosive with 80% TNT. When we can came upon the name Chad and I thought it was described really who we are as individuals and act in our daily lives.

2. What kind of style do you guys play?

I don't know that it's necessarily one style, but we keep it pretty energetic, melodic, sometimes emotional and sometimes full-on. It's a lot of different things.

3. Tritonal have undergone a transformation from mostly trance to almost anything now. How deliberate was this move? Was it a natural progression or were you just sick of sticking to one genre?

I don't know if it was very natural as it was very conscious. It was a pretty severe departure and that was pretty conscious as well. I think we still straddle the fence a lot but we didn't really want to do that. We didn't want to be wishy washy, we are not wishy washy to what we think is good music, and we didn't want to be wishy washy to what we are and what kind of sound that we're going for.

I can say that we were super bored with what we were playing and producing. We had finished producing the album “Piercing the Quiet” - loved the album, loved the remixes but we're over that sound. We were already loving what was going on in progressive house and wanted to change. That's why the title of our last three EP's have been the Metamorphic EP.

Looking back now, maybe we could have gone about it a little smoother and kept a foot in both worlds and tried to bridge that gap. But I think Dave and I like to rip the band aid fast and that was kind of our approach to it. To be honest a lot of the elements that we loved then are still in our music now. It's not like we left the things we always loved about not just trance, but music. We still make uplifting melodies, we still love sexy, sultry, ethereal vocals. I don't think that stuff will ever change.

In the terms of what we play and produce, it's definitely not trance.

4. You said that you pulled off the band aid quickly from your switch from trance, can you pin point the time when that change occurred?

I think it was 2 years ago when we were working on “Bullet That Saved Me”. I remember playing the Fedde Le Grand remix of Coldplay and Alesso's “Years” and “Calling” - and they were the most biggest and baddest moments in our set. Dave and I just had a lot of conversations about how we love this big room melodic sound, and some of the big room electro stuff.

We wanted to do a number of things at the time: one was re-brand the radio show so it had a more impactful meaning to our fans, the Tritonians. So we renamed it “Tritonia”. We re-branded the logo and the icon to have a triangle and itnow looks more mature. We changed the radio show, we changed the website, we changed the logo. We stuck our feet down and changed the sound. It all happened over the course of 3-4 months. We had conversations with our management team and internally with Dave and I where we made a decision to make a right turn. And that's just the truth of the matter.

5. What's your view of the current state of the big room scene?

Big room is a lot of fun to play, it's full of energy and we really enjoy it. Tritonal means explosives, and that's what we are on stage. Chad and I are up there going crazy, and we're jumping up and down. It's big room music that we like to play and we like to take the bigness of it and make it into something more musical in the studio. I think we love it to use it as more of a tool but as far as producing it and putting it into our studio workflow – I don't know if that's what we are. We come from a rich background of core progressions and you don't hear too much of that in big room house.

 "I think big room has had its run now and it's probably on the other side of what's coming next."

You don't hear a lot of big room electro drops coming out of our singles and that's pretty intentional too. We try to keep our releases pretty musical. Again, we are taking what we love about trance and all things melodic, and musical. Now do I love to drop a R3HAB or a W&W record? You bet your ass because those are big big tunes.

What's the state of big room at the moment? I don't know, but I think big room has had its run now and it's probably on the other side of what's coming next. It feels like other things are coming up like soft deep tropical house. Deep house is huge in Europe and will it have the same impact in North America? I don't know. Big room has had its fun and it's probably going to end at some point soon. For Dave and I we don't have to worry because although we have been playing that stuff, our singles have remained musical. If you look at Colors, Anchor, Now or Never, Electric Glow – these are all big songs and if you write good songs I think that's what people really care about.

6. Your latest release on Metamorphic III included a track called “Seraphic”, which reminds of the stuff Seven Lions and Minnesota is doing, can you tell me about it?

It has nothing to do with Seven Lions although Jeff is a big friend of ours and huge influence. It's more an ode to Blackmill, Jon Hopkins, and The Glitch Mob. It's more chill-dub, that's what it is. I don't know if people know how much chill out music that Dave and I listen to everyday but it's a hefty amount. That consumption has led to inspiration on this record.

Mr. FijiWiji is a young talent who's got some cool tracks that we love listening to. We reached out to him and thought it would be cool to do a record together. It really came together quite quickly and organically. I think it will be the first of many experimental chill out tracks from Tritonal. It will never be our lead singles but it sure does feel great creatively to do something like that.

7. Is there a chance that we'll get to hear more chilled out bass driven Tritonal material in the future?


8. You're playing at the Cemetery of Sound Halloween event in Calgary on October 31st – excited? What can fans expect from your set?

We're definitely going to show up and suit up with the good sound and take everybody on a really energetic show. We'll be playing loads of new tracks where some of them we haven't even played in front of a crowd yet. It will be a good time, and it's always great to play in Calgary. We're also bringing new visuals so that's different as fans will be able to see some sick new visuals.

9. What is Tritonal up to for the rest of 2014 and the beginning of 2015?

We just finished a really big remix of Surrender for our boys Cash Cash. Tritonal is working on new material for a possible album. When that's going to land, nobody knows but we sure are working hard on new material.

My thanks to Chad and Dave for this excellent interview! You can catch Tritonal playing live this Friday at the BMO Centre as part of the Cemetery of Sound lineup. For tickets, click on the poster below: 

Halloween Guide 2014

Here are all of the upcoming events posted for this Halloween weekend across Canada. This one gives a bit more information to help you make your last minute Halloween party decisions!

(Click on the event link for full ticket information)



Friday, October 31st - Erick Morillo @ ALEA

Important note: This is not a costume party. 

Why you should go

It's the grand opening of Ottawa/Gatineau first super club in the Nation's Capital! Alea Nightclub is going to change nightlife in Ottawa forever as they are bringing a true VIP experience to the clubbing scene. They also have the legendary Erick Morillo playing which will be sure to set the tone for what's to come. There's really no competition, the Alea grand opening is the place to be on Halloween.

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Why you should go: 

Sinister is a unique Halloween party featuring some of the best DJs headliners as well as an open bar. Project 46 is sitting on a mountain of unreleased tracks while Paris Blohm has had a great summer of strong releases that has lifted his name among the fold. Did I mention that this event is open bar yet? Make sure to book a taxi for this one as this year's Sinister Halloween at Chateau Le Jardin is going to be a wild ride. 

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Why you should go

3 rooms, 14 DJs, this year's Monster Mash at Liberty Grand is definitely one of the big contenders for your Halloween needs. At $65, it's still a reasonably priced event featuring big room stars Blasterjaxx, Deniz Koyu, while the Artifacts Room is bringing the Queen of Techno Nicole Moudaber. Into trap? Hometown heroes Thugli has got you. 

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Update: Event now moved to Metropolis

Friday, October 31st - First Kontakt ft. Shlohmo, Rustie, Hucci @ Metropolis

Why you should go

If you're looking to attend a truly diverse night filled with tons of talented acts, then look no further than First Kontakt at Centre Des Science. Featuring WEDIDIT's own Shlohmo, as well as Rustie, who has just released a brand new album, and trap master Hucci. Each headliner will be bringing a different vibe behind the decks which will ensure that musically everybody will be kept on their toes as there'll be a consistent flow of fresh tracks coming at you. 

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Saturday, November 1st - A Dirty Bird Halloween ft. Kill Frenzy @ The Starlite Room

To win 2 tickets to A Dirty Bird Halloween, tweet this: 

Win 2 tickets to see @kill_frenzy this Saturday at the @StarliteRoom - Follow @edm_edmonton and RETWEET to enter! 

Why you should go

Cemetery of Sound 2014 will feature big room star and DJ'ing master Laidback Luke, who will no doubt show off his skills this Friday at BMO Center. Joining him will be the Texan duo Tritonal, who are fresh from releasing their Metamamorphic III EP, and have had a big summer with their collab single "Colors". Tydi has also just released a new album titled "Redefined" and will be eager to show it off to the Calgary crowd. 

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Why you should go

Tuneboy, who is one of half of TNT (Technoboy and Tuneboy), will be bringing that hardstyle sound to Vancouver. This is a no brainer for those B.C hardstyle founds out there looking to get their hardstyle fix post TSOQ. 


To win 2 tickets to see Tuneboy on Halloween, get on Twitter and tweet the following: 

Win 2 tickets to see @djTuneboy and Lady Faith this Friday at Fraserview Hall - Follow @edmvancouver + RETWEET this to enter!

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Saturday, November 1st - Cirque Blanc Halloween @ FIVESIXTY

To win 2 tickets, get on Twitter and tweet the following: 

Win 2 tickets to the Cirque Blanc all-white Halloween party this Sat at @FIVESIXTYtalk - Follow @edmvancouver and RETWEET to enter!

Win 2 VIP tickets to Bud Light Sensation on November 29th at the Rogers Center!

The following contest is the biggest one that EDM Canada has had all year as a lucky winner can win 2 VIP tickets to go see Bud Light Sensation on Saturday, November 29th at the Rogers Center. The lineup is pretty stacked with Eric Prydz, Afrojack, Bingo Players headlining while Baggi Begovic and Mr. White provide strong opening support. The theme is "Into The Wild" which will feature brand new imagery while everyone receives an LED bracelet so they're literally part of the show. Check out the video teaser: 

The prize pack includes 2 VIP tickets worth $267+ each so this is a $500+ prize pack that you don't want to miss! To enter this contest you must be on Twitter and do the following: 

  1. Follow @edmtoronto
  2. Tweet the following: 

Win 2 VIP tickets to #BudLightSensation on Nov 29 at the @Rogers_Centre - Follow @edmtoronto + RT to enter! Details: 

Enter as many times as you want. Contest starts now and will end on Friday at 4:00 pm EST. So enter now and good luck! 

Remember that if you want to buy your Bud Light Sensation tickets through EDM Canada's link, then you'll be automatically entered for a chance at a complementary VIP upgrade + an official Sensation t-shirt! For tickets, click below: 

Important note: A potential winner will be contacted via direct message on Twitter at 4 pm on Friday, October 31st. To win you must give me your full name and email to claim the prize. A potential winner will only be given 24 hours to claim before EDM Toronto is forced to re-draw the prize and another winner will be selected. Good luck!